NEWS | Aug. 6, 2008

Servicemembers volunteer during orphanage kids’ day at Soto Cano

By Tech. Sgt. John Asselin Joint Task Force-Bravo public affairs

More than 50 boys from the Hogar de Ninos Nazareth Orphanage in Comayagua spent a day of fun here Aug. 2 thanks to the good hearts of members of the Joint Task Force-Bravo community. 

Nearly 60 Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen volunteered during the day of fun and activities for the boys aged 6-17 years old, sponsored by JTF-Bravo's Medical Element. 

"These children have very limited resources and we are blessed to be able provide them with a day of fun and caring," said Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Gary Piorkowski, event organizer and JTF-Bravo dentist deployed from Tyndall AFB, Fla. "In the U.S., we take for granted many simple things that we associate with summertime fun: barbeques; swimming pools; going to a movie theater; playing soccer in a lush green field; running under a water sprinkler getting soaked; going to a parade and seeing HUMVEES and ambulances; going to an air show and seeing a helicopter land and meeting the air crew and having our photos taken. Having a base orphanage day provided a slice of all these fun summertime events and a carefree, fun filled, summer day." 

The day of playing and swimming on base wasn't just a fun time for the children, but also enjoyable and rewarding for the volunteers. 

"I enjoy being a part of making others happy," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Sellars, mental health NCOIC deployed from Ft. Jackson, S.C. "To see a child smile touches my heart. Playing with them releases my inner child. What better way to spend a day." 

For others, it was some interaction they miss being away from their families. 

"I have kids of my own, and I think that motivates me to do these kinds of things," said Air Force Capt. Dennis Spencer, a physician assistant at MEDEL deployed from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. "No military ulterior motive at all, I just really enjoy giving back to these kids who have very little and appreciate your efforts so much. If my kids were in this situation, I would hope there would be folks out there willing to do these sorts of things for them."